As your facility’s equipment gets older, you may receive confusing notices from the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). For example, you may be told your equipment has reached its “end of life” or even “end of service life.”
Does that mean the vital equipment that operates your hospital or lab will suddenly quit working? In short, no. If you have conducted routine maintenance on your equipment, ensuring it stays in good working order, you probably have no cause for concern. OEMs use this language to signal a change in their support for specific products. OEMs aren’t service companies. They profit from selling new equipment, not by maintaining their older models.
But purchasing new equipment is expensive and not always necessary. Read on to learn the difference between EoL and EoSL and why having a third-party maintenance contract can minimize the pain (and cost) of dealing with older equipment.
What Is End of Life?
When an OEM says a piece of equipment has reached its end of life, the OEM is signaling that it will not produce more of the product. A new generation with more technological features may be planned, or a completely different product is forthcoming. Either way, the OEM wants to refocus efforts on the updated version instead of older pieces of equipment.
What does this mean for you?
- You won’t receive firmware updates or patches.
- You will have to pay for an extended service contract to get maintenance or technical support.
- You will have to rely on your clinical engineering team to maintain the equipment to the best of their ability.
- It will become a challenge to find OEM parts.
In short, your equipment should continue to function, and you should be able to get support if something goes wrong — but likely at an additional cost or effort on your part. But here’s something to keep in mind. If you plan to sell the equipment, you may be able to negotiate a higher price before EoL is declared. A third-party buyer won’t pay a premium for equipment if they think the OEM will no longer offer support.
What Is End of Service Life?
EoSL is similar to EoL, but it’s much more final. When OEMs declare the EoSL for a product, it signals they will no longer provide support in any way.
- Typically, the OEM won’t offer service or maintenance.
- If the company does offer it, you will pay a premium to access an OEM technician.
- Parts or accessories will be very difficult, if not impossible, to get.
EoSL is an OEM’s way of saying, “We’re officially done with this product.”
In truth, equipment that has reached its EoSL may be slowing down or operating less efficiently than it once did. That’s one reason why you may consider buying new equipment. But if that’s not in your budget, a third-party equipment maintenance contract can help you keep it operating until your budget allows for a new capital purchase.
Options for EoL and EoSL Equipment
If an OEM has declared a piece of equipment EoL or EoSL, you might assume you have no option but to make a significant capital investment. But that’s not the case at all. Again, a third-party maintenance provider can step in when OEM support ends and help keep your equipment running smoothly.
A third-party maintenance provider has connections with expert vendors that can fix and repair clinical laboratory and medical equipment after the OEM has stepped back. Additionally, third-party maintenance providers usually have access to OEM parts through well-sourced supply networks.
These aren’t the only benefits of working with a third-party maintenance provider.
Extended equipment lifespan
Just because an OEM stops supporting a piece of equipment doesn’t mean it’s obsolete. If the product is still working for your organization, there’s no reason to stop using it. You can stretch your initial investment and extend the lifespan of your equipment by working with a third-party maintenance provider.
Upgrades when you’re ready
OEMs usually don’t ask customers when they’re ready to buy new equipment. They declare equipment EoL and EoSL on their own timetable, not yours. But you don’t need to feel pushed to buy a new model or upgrade until your organization is ready. Working with a third-party maintenance provider allows you to both plan for the transition and budget for a new equipment purchase on your terms.
Relying on an experienced technician with access to OEM parts is a much better option than sourcing parts yourself. Technicians who work for third-party maintenance providers are familiar with your equipment and know where to find the right parts when repairs are needed.
After EoL or EoSL, getting product support from OEMs is extremely expensive. OEMs may charge a premium for access to their factory-trained technicians. A third-party maintenance provider offers technicians with the same skill sets. The only difference is, these technicians don’t work for the OEM, typically making these cost much lower.
Third-party maintenance providers strive to give you the right service solution for your organization. They can perform repairs in a way that creates minimal downtime for your staff. You can also customize your plan to get the exact service support you need.
Partner with Cenmed EMMS
Cenmed’s Equipment Maintenance Management Solution (EMMS) provides dynamic, full-service maintenance and support for a broad range of specialized equipment across various manufacturers under one service agreement. Unique to Cenmed, we incorporate your preferred service providers, including the OEMs and independent service organizations as part of our comprehensive solution.
Request a quote today and see why our solution is much more affordable than extended service contracts.